So, you want to go Ice Fishing. You’ve heard all about the peaceful and serene settings, the abundance of fish to be caught, and the remarkably better taste of fish caught under the ice and have decided you are ready to go for it. But you have no ice fishing gear and most shops don’t keep a large amount of inventory in store.
Where can you buy Ice Fishing gear online? When in search of ice fishing gear, look first to websites that specialize in fishing gear.
Although most sites group fishing with hunting and other sports, there are a few websites with large inventories dedicated to fishing and Ice Fishing in particular. These sites have a host of gear for anglers who are serious about Ice Fishing.
Doing a Google search will bring up a massive amount of sites attempting to market and sell their product. But there is no need to weed through the minutia, we’ve done it here for you. Take a look at our guide and see the best places online to find great gear for your next Ice Fishing trip.
Where Can You Buy Ice Fishing Gear Online
With Ice Fishing, not only are you contending with the weather conditions and trying to stay warm, but the fish behave differently also. It’s important to understand how the fish behave in order to obtain the proper gear.
And of course, if you are freezing to death, you won’t enjoy the experience.
So, you will want to take the time to find the right gear so that you can wear layers out to the icy lake or pond.
Online sites cater to both of these needs.
You will find sites that provide transport gear to move your equipment over the ice, specialty rods for Ice Fishing, lures, and baits that behave well in icy water and a large variety of ice augers for hole-digging.
In addition, you will find clothing specifically designed to protect from wind and water.
Being that there are so many places to buy hunting and fishing gear online, what is the best online shop for purchasing gear for Ice Fishing? We looked into the various option to determine how extensive the inventories were.
Overview of Online Options for Purchasing Ice Fishing Gear
We’ll dive more in depth on these options later, but here’s an overview of some of the online options for purchasing ice fishing gear:
- Field & Stream
- Bass Pro Shops
- Dicks Sporting Goods
What Ice Fishing Gear the Online Options Offer
And so you can see just how good the above online options are for buying ice fishing gear, we’ve composed a table with the different kinds of gear they offer. Just about all of the online options for purchasing ice fishing gear offer all the different kinds of gear you could need. Take a look:
|Rods & Reels||Shelters & Sheds||Tackle||Ice Augers||Ice Line||Ice Tackle Storage||Ice Fishing Electronics|
|Field & Stream||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||–|
|Bass Pro Shops||Yes||Yes||–||Yes||Yes||–||–|
|DICK’S Sporting Goods||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Finding the Ice Fishing Category of Websites
To find the Ice Fishing category on most websites, all you need to do is click on “Fishing” and then click on “Ice Fishing”. Alternatively, you can type in “Ice Fishing” in the search box that is located on any page of the respective website. This is the simplest option.
Option #1: FishUSA
FishUSA likely has the most extensive inventory of items related to Ice Fishing available. When you click on the Ice Fishing category, you will also find helpful information and tips to be aware of before and during your Ice Fishing trip.
It talks about Ice Fishing rods, fishing line, and fishing methods. The site contains a complete list of items you could possibly need, from equipment to clothing, to take on your ice fishing trip.
They offer free economy shipping on all orders over $50. Another surprise option offered by FishUSA is the ability to make payments via PayPal. Being an online retailer, they can more readily offer this type of payment option.
FishUSA is also very social media-friendly. Their site contains links to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ site, as well as their YouTube, which contains many helpful fishing videos.
Field & Stream concentrates on hunting, fishing, and camping. This website does not have nearly the inventory that is offered by the FishUSA website. The search feature reveals 175 items related to Ice Fishing; however, they still have a nice variety of gear.
You can still find many of the things needed for your trip such as hand and power augers, Ice Fishing rods and reels, Ice Fishing lures, warm clothing, heaters, and shelters. And if you provide them with your email address, you will receive 10% off your first order. They offer free shipping on all orders over $49.
Option #2: Amazon
Amazon, as we all know, is the everything shop. Almost everyone knows that Amazon started as an online bookstore. No longer! Now Amazon sells basically everything and Ice Fishing gear is no exception.
Due to the nature of Amazon’s business, you will be able to find new and used gear on Amazon, which might mean more budget-friendly gear. When searching on Amazon, you will want to be more specific in your search as simply typing in “Ice Fishing” will reveal over 10,000 items, many of which may be t-shirts that say “Ice Fishing”.
Even when you type in “Ice Fishing Rod”, the first thing that comes up is a case for an Ice Fishing rod. The inventory is there, you simply have to be patient enough to look through it.
The beauty of Amazon is Customer Reviews. You will learn from customer star ratings and comments. This can go a long way in helping you decide which gear is right for you. Many orders over $25 on Amazon are eligible for free shipping and of course, Amazon Prime members get free shipping and free two to three-day delivery.
Option #3: Scheels
Scheels is another large inventory website, touting over 700 items categorized for Ice Fishing alone. Scheels’ site is a little easier to navigate since the pictures and prices display immediately versus separating by brand name from the outset as does FishUSA’s website.
There is an impressive amount of gear on this website from very simple to complex items such as fish sonars and volt light LED strips.
The next three shops, although they have an online presence, actually originated as brick and mortar stores only. The reason people continue to turn to these stores is due to their longevity; they have a name we trust.
Option #4: Bass Pro Shops
Although you will find some of the basic needs for an Ice Fishing trip at Bass Pro Shops, the amount of inventory on their website can be disappointing. Much of the inventory for ice fishing on the site is for clothing.
Otherwise, you will find one single rod and reel combo, ten different ice augers, some bait, shelters, and a few other items.
On the bright side, if you time it right, you will find clearance items plainly advertised. The site indicates that most orders over $50 are eligible for free shipping, so some stipulations may apply.
Option #5: DICK’s Sporting Goods
Dick’s Sporting Goods is another website with a smaller amount of inventory. It’s difficult to tell exactly how much inventory is present; however, searching for “Ice Fishing” will provide many pages of available items. With this site, it may be easier to actually type in the items you desire, such as “Ice Auger” or “Tip-Up”.
They advertise free one-hour pickup when you buy online, but then arrange to pick the item up at the store. Why would you want to do this? Often a product is cheaper online, so you purchase it online and then pick it up to avoid shipping costs if there are any. They also advertise free shipping on all orders over $49.
Option #6: Cabela’s
Cabela’s is the next online store that you can use in your search for ice fishing gear. Their website shows over 400 items available in the Ice Fishing category, an inventory much larger than other stores that are double as online and brick and mortar shops.
They have all of the necessities that an angler would include in their trip to the ice and some fancy extras. They have a wide range of lures and baits. Also, clearance and sale price items show up right in the list among the other items. They advertise free two-day delivery on orders over $50.
The Best of the Best Sites for Online Fishing Gear
After reviewing these sites, we narrowed the list down to the sites that had a large and diverse amount of inventory, as well as some other pros like fast shipping, in-store visiting option, good customer service, and access to customer feedback. These factors are all important as everyone has his or her own preferences when it comes to gear.
We also wanted to recommend sites that are easy to navigate, making it easy for you to quickly find the gear you need for your Ice Fishing trip. Below are the absolute best places to buy fishing gear online.
|Large Inventory||Customer Feedback||Fast Shipping||Order Online, Pick Up In Store||Good Customer Service||In-Store Visit Option|
|FishUSA||Yes||Not as Much||Not as Much||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Scheels||Yes||Not as Much||Not as Much||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Amazon||Not as Much||Yes||Yes||No||Not as Much||No|
|Cabela’s||Yes||Not as Much||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Why Are These Sites So Good?
FishUSA has the all-around largest inventory of fishing gear, inclusive of Ice Fishing. The site is very well laid out and easy to navigate.
Amazon has just about everything. Their inventory of Ice Fishing gear is impressive for a store that does not specialize in fishing. Plus, easy access to customer feedback and reviews is invaluable in helping customers choose products.
Closely following FishUSA, Scheels has one of the largest inventories of Ice Fishing gear on a well-designed website to help you easily navigate the buying process.
Cabela’s is the only online site we recommend in their space, having begun as a brick and mortar store; however, they have truly adapted to the world of online shopping by creating an online shop that is customer-friendly and offers a large variety of items related to Ice Fishing.
Finding Ice Fishing Gear Online And on a Budget
Ice Fishing gear can be quite expensive. Ice augers are found on websites with prices upwards of $600! And adding up all of the other accessories that will add to the enjoyment and convenience of the trip, gear alone could set you back over $1000. Perusing websites makes it easy to simply add items to the cart.
So how do you find fishing gear websites at budget prices? The key to finding budget prices on Ice Fishing gear is to first look in sale/clearance sections.
These sections are sometimes tucked away on websites; they may be somewhat obscure. But if you make it a habit to search for sale items before you begin searching for items at retail prices, you may find some hidden gems that don’t break the bank.
It is easy to get excited about looking at tons of new, shiny equipment, but if the goal is to not break the bank, there are a few recommended ways to find lower-priced gear.
Tips for Finding Ice Fishing Gear Websites on a Budget
- Use Amazon
- Buy Second-hand Items
- Look for a Sale or Clearance Section
Budget Tip #1: Use Amazon
Amazon is all around one of the most competitive places to shop. Being able to compare new and used products together provides another advantage.
Budget Tip #2: Buy Second-hand Items
Buying second-hand or used items is another way to obtain gear more cheaply. It may be that someone bought Ice Fishing gear and never used it or only used it once or only a few times and now they want to sell it. You can check your local classifieds, Craig’s List and of course, Amazon.
Budget Tip #3: Find the Sale or Clearance Section
Most sites tend to have a Sale or Clearance section for items that were discontinued or that they have too many of in stock.
Always click the sale or clearance button first before shopping for items at retail. Both Scheels and FishUSA have sale links along their webpage navigation bar. Cabela’s has what they call a “Bargain Cave” section where you can look for items that have been marked down.
It is not impossible to find Ice Fishing gear at budget-friendly prices; in fact, it’s very possible! You just have to be willing to look for them.
How to Find Online Deals on Ice Fishing Gear
Most items go on sale when their season is over; the same is true with Ice Fishing. The beginning of spring marks the end of the Ice Fishing season.
So if you have been eyeing Ice Fishing equipment, you will typically start to see markdowns at the end of February with even more coming throughout March.
Also, don’t make the mistake of waiting until summer thinking that the prices will continue to get cheaper and that you will find better prices then. In reality, by summer, the inventory is nearly gone. Items that are left tend to be the ones that no one wants.
So, where are the go to-places for deals on ice fishing gear?
Top Go-To Places for Deals on Ice Fishing Gear
Finding Ice Fishing Gear Deals on Amazon
Amazon remains the go-to place for deals online. Almost any product will have multiple sellers of the same product at different prices, allowing you to search through each and find the perfect combination of price and value.
Finding Ice Fishing Gear Deals at FishUSA
FishUSA has a red “Sale” button along its navigation bar near the top of the website. At any given time, they keep nearly 100 items in the sale category.
Finding Ice Fishing Gear Deals at Cabela’s
Cabela’s calls their sale/clearance section, the “Bargain Cave” section. Here, you can look for items that have been marked down.
The inventory is not quite as large as FishUSA; however, the savings that can be found can be massive. Cabela’s states that these items can be up to 70% off of retail pricing.
How to Safely Buy Ice Fishing Gear Online
Unfortunately, online fraud is quite prevalent when it comes to fishing equipment. Scammers set up so-called Tackle Shops online, but after you select your purchase and make your payment, you never receive your product.
These shops typically show high-end products for very low prices, such as 50-80% discount off retail prices.
Before buying from a site that you have no knowledge of, there are some basic signs that you should check in order to protect yourself from being scammed.
Red Flags to Watch for When Buying Ice Fishing Gear Online
- The prices are unbelievable
- There is no full contact information
- All items in stock
- Limited payment options such as wire transfer
Red Flag #1: Unbelievably Low Prices
Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone is offering to sell you a $400 power ice auger for less than $150, it’s most likely fraudulent. Scammers show heavily discounted prices in order to trap the unwary.
Red Flag #2: No Full Contact Information
Does the website have contact information such as phone number, address, and email address? If so, confirm these. Call the phone number; perform a search on the address; send an email to the published address. Genuine, established businesses will have multiple ways for you to get in contact and they will respond in a professional manner.
Red Flag #3: All Items in Stock
Another signal that a website is fraudulent is if all items are showing in stock. How would a reseller be able to keep so many high-end rods and reels in stock? The answer is they cannot.
Red Flag #4: Limited Payment Options Like Wire Transfers
A big indicator that a website is fraudulent is if the payment options are limited to Western Union or MoneyGram wire transfer. When a victim wires the money to the bank account indicated by the scammer, the scammer will withdraw the funds from an ATM.
They will keep doing this until the bank receives complaints and then the scammer will close the account. But then the scammer just starts all over again. Requesting a Western Union or MoneyGram wire transfer as payment for products is also how you can spot a scammer selling products on eBay or Craigslist.
In conclusion, many online sites can be used to purchase Ice Fishing equipment and the purchasing process is part of the adventure. Whether you want to find items on a budget or buy higher-priced exclusive items, you can use this guide to help you make purchases safely and efficiently online.